From The Guardian, a British newspaper, we learn that one minute on the Internet looks like this: 156 million emails, 29 million text messages.

Wait, we’re still not through. One point five million Spotify songs, four million Google searches, two million minutes of Skype calls, 350,000 tweets, 243,000 photos posted on Facebook, 87,000 hours of Netflix, 65,000 pictures put on Instagram, 25,000 posts on Tumblr, 18,000 matches on Tinder, and 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube.

If you take just the online video watched on websites, YouTube, Netflix and webcams, you have 77% of the world’s internet traffic. Whew!

The Readers Bite Back

Camera Raw technique

We recently wrote that there’s no reason to have a terabyte drive if you don’t have a big movie or video collection. A few readers said yes there is. It has to do with photos.

One said: “When digital cameras came out in 2000, I took up photography again.  At the time a photo took up less than a megabyte.  Then I started taking photos in the RAW.  Let me rephrase that: I take photos in RAW format, and they run 25 MB per image.  So now I have two three-TB drives and they are over half full.  There is a world of amateur photographers out there who regularly use drives holding three TB, or more, for their photos.”

Who knew? We are abashed. Meanwhile, some background knowledge is required.

What is “RAW” you might ask. Good question. The letters needn’t be capitalized, because they’re not an acronym for some obscure tech routine. They just stand for all the “raw” data a digital camera collects when you push the button. Ordinarily, a digital camera takes pictures in what’s called “jpeg” format, which is a format that compresses duplicate and some related pixels – the stuff of which the picture is made – to save space and produce a picture that is still sharp but easier to store or send to someone. Handy, no?

If instead of this economical practice of taking compressed pictures, you have all of the digital data still available … well then, you can fool around. One reader points out he can darken the highlights and lighten the shadows to bring out detail that is otherwise washed out or lost. “JPEGs are fine for snapshots, but for images that I hope will have a ‘Wow!’ factor, I want control of RAW.” You can make highlights which are unrealistic but Holy Mackerel stunning. The trade-off is your drive starts filling up.

Another reader said it’s true that a one terabyte drive is “serious overkill,” but there are other reasons for getting one, namely, reliability. “I’ve had thumb drives fail totally more than once. That’s annoying. I know external drives can fail too but they’re more reliable, and the one terabyte size was only $10 to $15 more than the smaller size I was considering.” He adds: “Now that I have two to three backups each of my wife’s and my PCs, maybe I’ll try to download the Encyclopedia Britannica and a few movies with all the extra space, but don’t hold your breath.”

“That storage overkill applies to phones too. My two-year old phone has 128 GB. Only 22.2 GB of that is used.” What annoys him just a tiny bit is he paid an extra $100 for the unneeded storage space. He says: “Oh well.”

Printing a Passage

A reader wonders how he could print just part of a web page. We used to do that by highlighting the part we wanted and copying that into Microsoft Word.

But here’s another way: First highlight the section you want to print. To highlight, hold your left mouse button and drag the cursor over the text, then release. Now, right-click with your mouse and choose “Print.” If you use a trackpad, hold down the left button and drag with another finger. Alternatively, look up “three finger drag” for either Mac or Windows. It’s a change in “System Preferences” on the Mac, or in “Mouse and Touchpad Settings”, in Windows.

Google Bashing

Gone are the days when every story about Google was positive. Now it seems like every story is negative, and it often concerns privacy. It must be hunting season. Let us offer a different point of view.

Suppose Google didn’t collect data about you when you searched the web. Instead of seeing ads tailored to your interests, you’d see ads for everything, including the kitchen sink. Google would make less money, as advertisers saw you weren’t clicking on their pitches. With little income, Google would have to start charging you for their search services. Then you would hear some real protests. Most people are reluctant to pay $3 for an app from the online app store; we can only imagine the protest for paying for search services.

World Community Grid

At the dawn of computer life, when the first emails were getting cranked out, Bob had a vision. The Internet would one day help people help each other all over the world. That turns out to be especially true for users of the “World Community Grid,” launched in 2004 and still going strong with over half a million users.

If you go to, you can get in on the action by downloading their free program, which is sponsored by IBM and uses their security system. The program allows scientists to use your computer’s power when it’s idle, to analyze cancers, Ebola, the Zika virus, microbiome immunity and other projects. It has partnerships with 449 companies and organizations and 52,000 active users. If a single computer had been used to handle the projects they’ve finished so far, it would have taken 1.5 million years.

Go to to sign up or see what they’re working on. We did notice that the program causes our computer’s central processing unit (CPU) to work much harder. From Task Manager, we can see that it’s often working at 50 percent now, much of that due to World Community Grid. But we have fast machines, with 12 gigabytes of RAM, so it hasn’t slowed us down.


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